Bring in a reusable mug and get free coffee – STARBUCKS APRIL 15 :)

I love when companies do stuff like this! I think it is such a great idea to get people into the habit of bringing a reusable mug by offering free coffee to those that do every once in a while. I absolutely love places that offer a slight discount when you bring in a reusable mug as well. It is so easy to do and you are making such a big difference to the environment by doing so!

Check out Starbucks Free Coffee Day facebook link here.

I haven’t really got into how much I REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE on my blog yet but I really should. One of absolute favorite stores EVER is….WAIT FOR IT…VALUE VILLAGE!!! I am so in love with giving items that may have ended up in a landfill a new home by not being judgmental of where they came from πŸ™‚ SO many times I have gone in there and picked up items that were brand new, still in their packaging, for less than 50% of their original price. I got a lot of nifty tupperware containers, and cool glass dishware from there for $1 and $2 each! I have also been able to pick up some cool games for $3 and many hardcover books for 10% of the cover price. Most recently I found the coolest black, button up sweater dress from Le Chateau with the original $69.99 tag, for only $6.99. What a steal, and it fit PERFECT!

I like to do what I can even if it’s only small.

I often notice a lot of trash outside and try to pick up at least one piece while I’m out walking Hendrix! Sometimes if I notice any paper that people have littered I try and use that to pick up Hendrix’s “outsides”.Β  We DO use biodegradeable doggy bags at all other times, but this really accomplishes two tasks in one! I, OF COURSE, come in and wash my hands IMMEDIATELY. That’s a given.

Another thing to remember is to rinse your recyclable items. A lot of products can’t be recycled if they have stuck on goo, so it’s easiest for us to take a second and do it as soon as we are done with the product.

ANOTHER tip if you shop at Loblaws/ Superstore: If you bring your OWN reusable bags they deduct .05 cents for each bag you bring off your bill! It may not seem like a lot, but bringing reusable bags is great for the environment and SO EASY to do! Just don’t forget them in your car πŸ˜‰

DO you know of any companies that offer discounts like I’ve mentioned above? Leave a comment and share your knowledge πŸ™‚

International Literacy Day // Bloggers Unite

International Literacy Day // Bloggers Unite

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Bacon and Egg Potato Salad

This is the recipe for my delicious bacon and egg potato salad that ALWAYS gets gobbled up first, and even though it is only a salad, often outshines the main course!

I used to think that this type of salad was only for the summer time, but who am I to restrict such a delicious salad to only the summer months?

For this masterpiece I’m not a stickler about exact measurements so have some fun with it and use as much or as little as your personally like best.

Bacon and Egg Potato Salad

  • Potatoes washed, peeled, cubed and boiled until soft. Poke with a fork to check how hard they are after boiling for around 10 minutes!
  • Bacon that has been cooked and chopped.
  • Soft boiled eggs. Boil water and then insert eggs. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 12 minutes. Let cool and then remove shell and break apart with a fork.
  • Green onions, chopped [whites and chives]
  • Broccoli, stems removed and cut into smaller pieces.
  • Sometimes I like to add orange or yellow chopped peppers too.
  • Cheese of you choice to grate into salad.

For the creamy sauce I typically use a concoction of mayo, a little dijon mustard, a little caesar dressing [homemade or store bought], salt & pepper and some dry dill. Start with 1/2 a cup mayo, add a lil’ squirt of mustard and caesar and then add your spices and see how it tastes. Alter this to suit your own tastes.

  • Mix potatoes, eggs, bacon, green onions, broccoli and cheese in a large bowl while potatoes are still warm. Grate cheese of your choice throughout salad. Pour as much or as little creamy mixture over potatoes that you like and enjoy! Enjoy while still warm, or chill to enjoy later.
Creamy Sauce concoction

Creamy Sauce concoction

Cooked potatoes, bacon, onions and veggies ready to be mixed

Cooked potatoes, bacon, onions and veggies ready to be mixed

Bacon and egg potato salad

Bacon and egg potato salad

We had a friend over recently and while he was reaching for seconds of this wonderful salad, he had a chance to say that it was BY FAR the best potato salad he has ever had…which then prompted another man in the house to follow suit πŸ˜›

Women’s Web – Nutrition and healthy eating

I found this great website [actually more of an online community] which has amazing advice for women on DIET AND NUTRITION, as well as health, beauty, careers and fashion.

I particularly found their section outlining Canada’s food guide [or the food pyramid]Β  quite informative as it highlights the exact amount from each food group a woman needs to take in each day to meet the recommended guidelines. No ONE food or food group can provide us with all the vitamins, minerals or nutrients our body needs to maintain optimal health, that is why it is extremely important to choose the correct portions of food, from the correct groups.

Check out this link below to see just how much, and of what you should be eating each day πŸ™‚

Women’s Web – Nutrition and healthy eating Canana’s food guide

The body needs adequate amounts of specific nutrients from six categories: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Check out this link below to learn more about how a varied diet and these specific nutrients work together to keep you healthy πŸ™‚

The Six nutrients we need for optimal health

Easy to make Mix & Match Granola

This recipe is for an incredibly delicious and simple to make mix and match granola.

Use whatever combination of ingredients you have on hand, or that you like best.

Hit up the Bulk Barn for this one if you have time as they have rows upon rows of different goodies that would be perfect for this recipe!

ENJOY πŸ™‚

Mix & Match Granola

  • 4 cups rolled oats, wheat or barley (any combination)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower or sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup honey, maple syrup or a thick homemade syrup made from 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 2-3 TBSP water
  • 1/4 canola oil
  • 1 TSP vanilla or maple extract
  • 3/4 cups raisins or dried cranberries or any other dried fruit you prefer
  • 1/2 cup nuts of your choice
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  1. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together except for the dried fruit.
  2. In another bowl mix the syrup, oil and extract until well blended
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until liquids are absorbed. The granola will become darker and shinier.
  4. Spread the granola in a shallow baking pan and bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until mostly dry and starting to brown.
  5. Remove from pan and stir in fruit.

TIPS

  1. Stir granola every ten minutes while baking to ensure it doesn’t burn on bottom.
  2. Granola becomes crispier as it cools because of the oil, keep this in mind while baking.
  3. Store Granola in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or six months stored properly in the freezer

I love this granola served on top of yogurt with fresh fruit…perfect for breakfast or a lovely snack throughout the day πŸ™‚

yummy homemade granola

yummy homemade granola

Check out my newly added links to make secure donations for Haiti Earthquake victims

To the left of the screen I have added two links, one for Unicef, and one for The Salvation Army!

Both Websites offer secure ways to make donations to help Haiti Earthquake Victims.

If you can help, please do so.

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin

It’s been way too long since I’ve had time to write in my beloved blog…

BUT I’M BACKΒ Β  πŸ˜‰

And I have three lovely recipes that are perfectly suited for the season πŸ™‚ And, you can make ALL THREE RECIPES from one can of pumpkin puree, or one small baking pumpkin πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, like Starbucks makes & Pumpkin Bread topped with glazed walnuts/almonds πŸ™‚

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Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Glazed Almond/Walnut Pumpkin Bread

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins

Since I must give credit where credit is due [and credit is CERTAINLY due] I have provided here where I originally found the recipe for the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. They were absolutely fantastic! Chris and I had Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks and these were certainly comparable, without that icky, orange staining, pumpkin flavoring they use!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 level tablespoon pumpkin puree I used two for extra flavour
  • 1 cup milk (whole if you dare!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar (packed and leveled)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (+ a pinch for dusting later) I used fresh nutmeg because that’s all I had and it was quite good!
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves I omitted the cloves as I had none
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract I bumped this up to a whole tsp.
  • I also added a tsp. of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 cups strong coffee (brewed using 2 tbs per 1 cup of water)
    You can also use a shot or two of espresso instead of coffee, I wouldn’t recommend using instant coffee…ICK!
  • 4 tablespoons creamer
  • 4 to 8 teaspoons of granulated sugar I used maybe four, tops
  • Whipped cream
  1. Begin brewing coffee.

  2. In a blender puree the milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and vanilla.

  3. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the milk is warm and begins to froth slightly. (About 4-5 minutes.) Remove from heat.

  4. For each serving: Pour 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture into your coffee mug. Add 2 generous tablespoons of creamer. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then add 1 cup of brewed coffee. Add 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you like your drink, I added 3 tsps.) Top off with a touch more β€˜pumpkin milk’ then cover with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Bread & Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 1 Loaf and 6 Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups Pumpkin Puree or Fresh Pumpkin
  • 3/4 veg. oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, or 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups + 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie Spice
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease and flour a glass loaf pan and prepare six muffin cups.

  2. In a large bowl mix pumpkin, oil, sugars and eggs. Also combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until blended.

  3. Fill loaf pan half full and use remaining mixture for the prepared muffin cups. Top loaf with a a mixture of chopped almonds and walnuts, push down slightly so that some nuts are in the batter. For muffins use around a 1/4 cup of cream cheese. Divide into six portions and either roll into balls or shape into whatever design you prefer and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Push cream cheese far into muffins as it rises while baking!

  4. Bake loaf for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until top of loaf springs back when lightly pressed. Mix together a small amount of granulated sugar and water to form a glaze and pour over bread. Let cool, slice, and enjoy.

  5. Bake Muffins until toothpick inserted INTO MUFFIN comes out clean. Let cream cheese cool before eating as it becomes quite warm and could cause burning and would ruin the whole experience of these delicious muffins πŸ™‚

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